Wine Blog

So, how do you decant wine?

There are two reasons for decanting.

By Gabriel Salas / December 05, 2014
Sommelier and Area Manager at Concha y Toro Estonia
  1. For aged wines: Bottles gather particles in suspension and should be handled with more care than usual so that the deposits remain at the bottom. It is perfectly normal to encounter sediment that forms as a part of the ageing process. Opening and decanting needs to be performed carefully avoiding quick bottle movements. Cut away the entire capsule before uncorking. Wipe the neck with a cloth and open the bottle delicately as the cork may be weak. Once the bottle is uncorked, light a candle and place it just behind the decanter. While looking through the bottle at the candle start decanting. You need to look attentively, because decanting should cease once sediments start to appear to ensure the wine is clear. Remaining wine is left in the bottle.
  2. To oxygenate: High quality young or recently bottled wines can also benefit from decanting, but here we speak of oxygenation. Decanting and contact with air enables a wine to express itself far better, and should be done as follows: first cut off the top of the capsule and open the bottle. Clean the neck and decant off a small sample. This little wine should wet the entire decanter and fill a glass. Taste the wine to check its properties and if satisfied decant the whole bottle. A candle is not required when oxygenating the wine.

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